These brilliant lifestyle brands are all leading lights in the sustainability cause and should be on your radar.

In 2016, former ad executive and self-confessed spendthrift Tara Button founded BuyMeOnce, a platform that seeks to change the way we shop by offering a selection of the best and longest-lasting products on the market.

Button and her team say: “BuyMeOnce is sick of badly made products. You probably are too. And yet most consumer goods are built to break. It’s a waste of resources, money and time. It’s called planned obsolescence. And we want to fight it. We are more than a shop. We are a movement. And we’re here to stay.”

They have spent the last four years researching those companies that reject our throwaway culture and put the planet first. The idea is that their site only sells durable items that will never need to be replaced. Read our review of BuyMeOnce here.

This year, they launched the inaugural By Me Once Excellence Awards, which celebrate the brands and companies with the finest efforts in sustainability, durability and waste reduction. As producers and consumers, we have a lot to learn from the impressive and inspirational list of winners.

Here are some of our favourites…

The Clothes Doctor
These guys won the Waste Reduction category in the Womenswear sector. Based in London, they promote the repair rather than replacement of clothing and make the process super easy for customers across the UK. Transparent pricing and convenient delivery and postage confirm this company a refreshing and disruptive force for good.

White T-Shirt Co
Winners of the Most Sustainable category in the Menswear sector, The White T-Shirt Co is the gold standard of transparency and sustainability. With a zero-compromise approach to quality and style, their wardrobe essentials are ethically manufactured from field to door. The quality of the fabric and finish means you won’t have to faff around rebuying shoddy alternatives. You may just have found your perfect white tee.

Elvis & Kresse
True environmental heroes, Elvis & Kresse won the Most Durable category and the Best Aftercare category in Shoes and Accessories. Since 2005, they have been rescuing raw materials – like fire hoses, printing blankets, auction banners and tea sacks – and transforming them into chic lifestyle accessories. They donate some of their profits to charity and have a lifetime repair policy that promises to patch up any issue that arises with our purchase over the course of its life. Read our Elivs & Kresse review here.

Rockwell Razors
Taking inspiration from the safety razors of yesteryear, Rockwell Razors – who won the Most Durable and Best Aftercare categories in the Health and Beauty sector – merge traditional design with modern touches. They say: “We’ve taken the classic double-edge razor that your bad-ass grandpa would have used, and completely re-engineered it from the ground up. The result? The classiest, most comfortable shave of your life.” Their razors are made of carefully selected materials that stand the test of time through normal, daily use. Their exceptional lifetime guarantee cements Rockwell Razors as heirloom pieces.

Billygoats and Raincoats
Winners of the Most Sustainable award in Kidswear, Billygoats & Raincoats is one cool company. They rescue discarded festival tents (British festival goers abandon over 20,000 tents each year, apparently) that would otherwise become landfill and repurpose the usable material into colourful, eco-friendly outerwear for children. What is more, all of their products are designed and made in the UK. We take our rain hats off to them.

Little Miss Workbench
Founded in Bellport, New York, by a visionary mother and educator, Little Miss Workbench produces charming wooden toys that are handcrafted from the strongest and most durable American hardwoods, like birch, maple and cherry wood. No wonder they won the Most Durable category in the Toy section. Look no further for hardy, pretty and toddler-proof trinkets. We defy you to resist the flash zoom Mali wooden camera.

The Restart Project
The Restart Project – which won the Waste Reduction category in Electricals – began in London but is spreading fast across the UK and into the wider world. The social enterprise brings repair enthusiasts together with people who have items that need to be fixed. The idea is not just to provide a free service but to empower ordinary people to take on simple repair tasks, so that perfectly good products can carry on being useful and not go to waste.

Family W
We are thrilled to have discovered this site, which won Most Durable in the Furniture/Homeware sector. The Dutch brand creates gorgeous furniture that is designed to be loved for generations and comes with a 100-year warranty. Their beautiful, timeless pieces are built from solid oak using classic wood-on-wood connections instead of nails or screws. They say they are producing the heirlooms of the future. We say: yes please.

The Beeswax Wraps Co
Everyone is talking about beeswax wraps as an environmentally friendly alternative to cling film and tin foil. The Beeswax Wrap Co does it with flair, which is why they won the Best Waste Reduction category in Kitchenware. Reusable and biodegradable, these food wraps are beautifully handmade by local designers and printed on organic cotton. The beeswax is sourced from within 30 miles of the Gloucestershire workshop, too. Carbon footprint? What carbon footprint?

Riley Studio
Winners of the Most Innovative category in the Womenswear section, Riley Studio is at the cutting edge of environmentally friendly clothing. The materials they use include rPET, which is made from recycled plastic bottles; ECONYL®, which is infinitely recyclable; and Q-NOVA®, which is made from otherwise non-recyclable waste. So far, they believe they have saved nearly a million litres of water in the creation of their impeccably constructed, gender-neutral, wardrobe staples. Fast fashion, be gone!

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July 2019

By Becky Ladenburg

Hero image credit: Elvis & Kresse